7 Categories of Obama Missteps Which the Media Applauded, Ignored, or Obscured

Former president Barack Obama concludes his final White House Correspondents Dinner with a “mic drop” and the juvenile words “Obama out!” — April 30, 2016. (Yuriy Gripas / Reuters)

The network and print media’s loathing for President Trump is worth no serious attention, for their words alone tell the story.

What rarely reaches the general public is the truly infantile level of their double standard in favor of the previous president — a man for whom, in “reporting” the news, they expressed no less than religious adoration.

Significant, if not ferocious, criticism of President Trump and his administration is not only healthy, it is often warranted, especially from principled conservatives (see Jonah Goldberg and Mark Levin).

Still, the most glaring outrage committed by the media during Barack Obama’s tenure as the author of Change We Can Believe In was their unwillingness to condemn his own inappropriate or narcissistic behavior, as well as his galaxy of political mistakes and actions motivated by harmful agendas — many of which, quite objectively, were finally in the interests of America’s enemies, not her people.

Therefore, a representative, seven-point list is sufficient to illustrate the instances in which the Obama administration committed more or less the same misstep or offensively shady action (discussion of genuine criminal activity aside) and the media remained silent, sought to obscure the evidence, or even obsequiously applauded.

Former president Obama departs from his adoring audience at the White House Correspondents Dinner with a “mic drop,” his final words “Obama out!” — April 30, 2016. (C-SPAN / The New York Times)

1. Infantile Narcissism

The media have made much of Trump the “immature,” “unpresidential,” “narcissistic” “megalomaniac,” but Obama demonstrated himself, both early on and later, to be more than a match. Perhaps the most bizarre recent example was the incident during Obama’s final speech to the White House Correspondents Dinner, when he closed his address by theatrically performing a so-called “mic-drop” while proclaiming, “Obama out!” in imitation of comedians and rappers.

A light-hearted and humorous occasion it may have been, but to compare himself so grandly and unashamedly to figures themselves already infamous for their own excessive self-adulation is effectively an admission of the awe with which he sees himself.

Did the media, then, spank the former president on-air for his blatant, self-satisfied childishness? Rather than championing a single standard of presidential humbleness, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, for example, interviewed the speech’s author Jon Lovett on May 2, during which they celebrated the president’s cutting wit and genius as a communicator.

Former president Obama muses on the inherent racism of his own country and voters in an interview on Marc Maron’s podcast WTF with Mark Maron at the comic’s home studio in Los Angeles — June 19, 2015. (Pete Souza / White House)

2. Bigotry

Trump the racist — or the leader of a “whitelash” carried out by degenerate hordes disgruntled by eight years under a black president — is a media favorite. The opening salvo of the president’s campaign on June 16, 2015 is at the apex of many a list of his supposed bigoted statements.

Still, regardless of the truth of these assertions, where were the disgusted news anchors and columnists when Obama claimed that the “legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, [and] discrimination …[is] still part of our DNA [as Americans]” in an interview only three days later with comedian Marc Maron? They simply chose to focus on everything else Obama said in the interview.

This ignorant, sweeping statement can only serve to inflame the racial tensions which only grew in fury during the Obama presidency — and reveals much about the former president’s perception of America. Here, Obama appears to equate America with the “white man” — as if nothing has happened or changed since 1619.

Between 110 and 300,000 white men gave their lives in battle to free black Americans from their chains during the Civil War — a percentage of the population equivalent to around 7.5 million deaths today. An even more staggering 87% of Americans approve of interracial marriages according to a 2013 Gallup poll, compared to 4% in 1958. Monumental, unprecedented progress in race relations and black economic prosperity occurred between 1864 and 1998, according to the liberal Brookings Institution. Does the media report this?

If all these facts are discounted, then what about the most glaring one? An average of 52% of Americans voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Furthermore, says Gallup, by 2008, a titanic 95% of Americans affirmed that they would vote for a black president of any sort, as compared with 37% in 1958 (that anybody at all, let alone 37%, were ready for a black Commander-in-Chief during the heyday of Segregation in itself speaks of American decency).

One can only assert that racism is in the DNA of a people if it is part of both their cultural and national identity — for glaring examples in the affirmative, see Japan, Mauritania, or North Sudan. America was founded upon Enlightenment concepts of liberty and Judeo-Christian moral imperatives — not primitive biology. American culture fully reflects the heterogeneity of its people — if “whiteness” is normative, then it is only because the majority of Americans are white. Nothing more. As for “white supremacy,” however much the Southern Poverty Law Canter may wish to terrify its followers with the news that 917 “hate groups” are active across the country, can anybody point to any serious cultural or political influence, beyond media scaremongering — compared to during the Wilson years?

No society is perfect, and America follows this rule perfectly. Nevertheless, if the job of the media is to spread truth and facts, then where are they?

“This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility,” former president Obama murmured to then-Russian president Dmitriy Myedvyedyev at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea — March 26, 2012. (Pablo Martínez Monsivais / AP)

3. “Collusion” with Russia

The ever-lasting news cycle concerning (supposed) “collusion” between the Trump presidential campaign and Putin’s Russia requires no introduction.

But Barack Obama played his own part in the history of shady foreign policy.

On March 26, 2012 at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, the former president was caught on camera across from former Russian president Dmitriy Myedvyedyev colluding with America’s age-old foe. “This is my last election,” Obama said, leaning in closely to his country’s longest-standing enemy, as he directed Myedvyedyev to inform Vladimir Putin that, “After my election, I have more flexibility.”

The aside referred to talks between the United States and Russia concerning nuclear arms reduction on both sides — the bone of contention, though, was a NATO missile defense system which had been intended for deployment in several eastern European nations, most notably Poland and the Czech Republic. The defense shield would not only symbolically stand against future Russian nuclear attack, but protect Western Europe, as well as possibly Israel, from the menaces of the Russian client state of Iran.

Obama had already canceled the shield’s deployment on September 17, 2009 (with utmost crassness, on the seventieth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland), but further negotiations were apparently scheduled for after the 2012 elections in both the United States and Russia. The effect of canceling the program was leaving Poland and the Czech Republic, both staunch American allies, as well as the United States itself, under-protected from future Russian and Iranian nuclear aggression. The talks would have involved further concessions to the Russians concerning nuclear reduction. It is not known whether they ever took place in any significant way, and the shield was eventually launched in May of 2016, inciting intense Russian displeasure.

The flexibility to which Obama referred was that after he was safely re-elected he would no longer be required to attend to what American public opinion would think of such dangerous diplomatic behavior.

Though covered at the time, the true significance of this episode was rarely discussed in any depth; The New York Times described the president’s words as “candid”; The Washington Post called them “[an] exchange [which] provided a rare glimpse of a world leader speaking frankly about the political realities he faces at home.” ABC’s Amy Bingham called the president a “veteran of unintended candor” in her web coverage. In fact, so important was this incident in their eyes, that by 2017, some in the media had forgotten it ever happened.

As they likely forgot Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2010 sale of approximately 20% of America’s uranium reserves to the Kremlin-run company ARMZ Uranium Holding for $1.3 billion.

On another earlier instance of cowardly collusion with Russia — the agreement to reveal the serial numbers of U.S. Trident missiles given to the Royal Navy for use on British nuclear submarines — there was barely any American media coverage at all.

A president placing such faith in Vladimir Putin to guard the safety of the globe — and abandoning his own nation’s and allies’ defenses in the process — would hardly be acceptable today.

Former president Barack Obama laughs beside Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, touching his hand warmly, in a lull before the commencement of the first session of the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico — June 18, 2012. (Andres Stapff / Reuters)

4. Classified Information

On May 15, 2017 The Washington Post accused Donald Trump and his administration of sharing classified information with the Russian foreign minister Syergyey Lavrov.

Regardless of the truth of these anonymous accusations, the Post appears to have forgotten its own coverage of June 30, 2016, when the Obama administration offered “to share Syria intelligence on terrorists with Russia,” per the headline. “We’ve made no bones about the fact that if the Russians, with their military presence in Syria, proved to be willing to focus those efforts against Daesh [ISIS], then that’s a conversation we would be willing to have,” the Post quoted then-spokesman for the State Department John Kirby as saying. The content of Kirby’s remarks very much resemble the president’s own tweet of May 16, which the leftist outlet Vox ridiculed.

The wisdom of Donald Trump, like his predecessor, once again putting faith in Russia to fight ISIS is subject to quite serious debate, but the media’s selective memory is not a matter of opinion.

President Obama basks in the crowd’s adulation as he approaches the podium to deliver his highly-anticipated speech to the Muslim world from the Grand Hall of Cairo University: “…Six million Jews were killed [in the Holocaust]. …On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people …have suffered in pursuit of a homeland,” he said — June 4, 2009. (Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images)
5. Offenses to Jews

Shortly after his inauguration, President Trump was correctly criticized for his Holocaust Remembrance Day statement of January 27, which omitted any mention of the Jews whose extermination comprised the vast majority of the Nazis’ genocidal program. Nevertheless, true to form, the backlash speedily morphed from decent to absurd.

But none in the media remembered a warm night in Cairo on June 4, 2009 when Barack Obama, not even six months into his first term, delivered a well-praised and highly-anticipated address to the Muslim world. During the speech, Obama equated the genocide of the Jewish people to the “dislocation” of Palestinians. “…Six million Jews were killed [in the Holocaust]. …On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people …have suffered in pursuit of a homeland,” he said.

To equate the suffering of a people locked into cattle cars and herded into gas chambers with that of a population of Arabs on the front lines of the Muslim world’s racist and genocidal efforts to destroy the Jewish State is a calculated insult to Jews everywhere.

Obama also compared Palestinian “daily humiliations …that come with occupation” to the “humiliation of segregation” which black Americans suffered.

The Nazis used Jews as slave laborers at Auschwitz and Monowitz — when did the Israelis use chain-gangs of Palestinian Arabs to build chemical factories or work the fields? How can necessary anti-terrorist efforts, used to protect Israeli citizens of all colors and religions from terrorism, be reduced to “humiliations”?

At the very least, the media could say that the former president’s ignorance of history can certainly be equated to that of President Trump’s likely unintended insensitivity.

Finally, it is known that The Los Angeles Times possesses a VHS tape of a dinner in honor of infamous anti-Semite Professor Rashid Khalidi when he was leaving the University of Chicago for Columbia in 2003. A young former student of Khalidi’s named Barack Obama spoke at the podium that night, praising Khalidi for his work and mentorship.

Why has the Times suppressed this video when the media inaccurately and sensationally accused Trump of having an anti-Semitic former chief strategist in Steve Bannon? Do the media only care about anti-Semitism when it comes from those they despise?

Map of the six countries (Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) subjected to the Trump administration’s attempted travel pause; Iraq, included in the original January 27 list, was later removed, though no networks dared to recall that it had been subjected to another travel ban in 2011 by the Obama administration — June 30, 2017. (NBC News)

6. Policies Detrimental to Muslims

Donald Trump’s “Islamophobia” is another media favorite. The detriment to America’s and the world’s Muslims which his attitudes and policies would cause has been well-covered by many pillars of journalism from Nicholas Kristof to Rachel Maddow.

What was not mentioned when the Trump Administration first announced its proposed three-month moratorium on travel from seven (later six) problematic or severely hostile Muslim countries on January 27 was that the previous administration had enacted a similar measure. In 2011, the Obama Administration had enacted a six-month moratorium on immigration from war-torn Iraq. (Not surprisingly, the policy was not widely covered).

Though outlets such as PolitiFact and Law Newz acknowledged that the Obama White House had enacted this immigration pause — Law Newz even admitting that one man was killed in Iraq while awaiting a visa — they only did so after President Trump signed the executive order in question, and to compare it negatively with the Obama policy. (This immigration freeze also only came to media attention after conservatives reminded them of it.)

Most importantly, however, the media never truly made the connection between the former administration’s withdrawal from Iraq, its inability to establish a routine status-of-forces agreement, and the resulting power vacuum which enabled the rise of ISIS. It is more than arguable that apart from the Assad junta, ISIS is responsible for more needless Muslim deaths than any agent in the world today — as even The Huffington Post would confirm.

Why is Donald Trump the focus of the media’s ire on behalf of the world’s Muslims, when he was sitting in Trump Tower running his business empire, such as it is, while Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden were removing all stability from the Middle East’s second-most dangerous country?

President Obama speaks with 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft for his final interview with the program as president; then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s email server scandal was “not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered,” Obama said, more than prematurely — October 9, 2015. (60 Minutes / CBS News)

7. Obstruction of Justice

That Donald Trump’s sudden firing of former FBI Director James Comey definitively constituted an instance of obstruction of justice — Comey being the official in charge of the investigation into Trump’s supposed Russia connections, as well the Flynn scandal — is another ever-lasting media story.

But the media had forgotten that during the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal, the Obama Administration may also have obstructed justice during the run-up to the 2016 election.

In a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft which aired on October 11, 2015, President Obama sated that this was “not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” Amid revelations that damning quantities of secret information had been discovered on Clinton’s private server, Obama repeated himself to FOX’s Chris Wallace six months later; he admitted that Clinton had shown “carelessness” in handling her emails, but also stated repeatedly that Clinton would never have intended to place American national security at risk. Intentions are entirely irrelevant to the statute which was allegedly violated.

Was this a partisan signal to the Justice Department not to probe the scandal with the thoroughness the law requires?

On July 5, Director Comey famously stated that he and the FBI would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton (even while outlining the overwhelming case against her). He, too, spoke of her lack of intent in exposing highly classified information to hostile foreign actors — even though, again, a suspect’s intentions are irrelevant to the violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793.

Was this a partisan signal to the Justice Department not to probe the scandal with the thoroughness the law requires?

In fact, the final authority to charge Clinton rested with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch — who met shadily with Bill Clinton on the tarmac of Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Arizona on June 27. In view of the powerful evidence, which Comey himself outlined, why exactly did Lynch accept Comey’s recommendation of not pursuing the case?

Was this a partisan signal to the Justice Department not to probe the scandal with the thoroughness the law requires?

Finally, during Comey’s testimony of June 8 — hyped to perfection beforehand, and supposedly a reincarnation of the Watergate hearings of 1973 — one unforeseen revelation did appear. As even CNN reported, Comey informed the assembled Senate committee that during the 2016 election, Loretta Lynch had requested that he refer to the inquiry into the Hillary Clinton email scandal as a “matter,” not an “investigation” (“matter” being the Clinton campaign’s preferred term).

Was this a partisan signal to the Justice Department not to probe the scandal with the thoroughness the law requires?

The media never asked these questions, for their political allegiances were well-served by Hillary Clinton escaping indictment. Only the supposed illegality of Trump’s often immature and thoughtless actions makes the news.

In summation, neither Obama nor Trump are relevant. It is the standard by which the fourth estate chooses to do or not do its job. Defending Trump or attacking Obama is not the purpose of excoriating the media thus: rather, if the media are supposedly the vanguard of liberty, then they must utilize the honesty which they assert as their trademark.

If the “truth,” as The New York Times so arrogantly asserts, “is hard to find,” then the reason for why appears to be clear.

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